License-less Yamaguchi-gumi tattoo artist arrested

A traditional tattoo artist, or horishi, was arrested July 10 for accepting money for tattoos without the proper medical license under violation of the medical practitioner’s law. The 36-year-old Hyogo-based horishi–who is believed to be a member of the Yamaguchi-gumi–reportedly admits to charges of giving two acquaintances tattoos at his home between May and August 2009 and accepting a total of ¥10,000 for the work. The tattoo artist had previously been indicted on charges of inflicting bodily injury.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, to put color into skin using tattooing techniques qualifies as a medical procedure, and accepting money without the proper licensing is prohibited by law. This is the first case in Japan of a tattoo artist being arrested for violation of the laws.

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